feel as indignant as those who are."
- King Solomon
by Carmen Crawford (member of Horry County A.B.A.T.E.)
Jay Jarman was killed at 3:00 AM on May 17, 2003, in Myrtle Beach South Carolina. His killers were sentenced at 3:00 PM on February 5, 2004. Some would say justice was served but others would not agree.
Jay Jarman was a family man. He lived in North Carolina and loved to build custom motorcycles. He was married, had step children, attended church, worked hard and enjoyed his life. He was one day short of 36 when he was killed in a crash. Initially, this would have been a terrible accident; however the accident was elevated to a heartless killing when the car that turned in front of him did not stop. Jay died at a local hospital after being left for dead in the roadway.
Jay Jarman's killers changed drivers and drove their damaged car to West Virginia. That drive is an 8 hour drive. It requires 3 or 4 stops for refueling. There are 3 toll booths that must be passed. There are several stop lights that must be passed to exit the interstate to drive to St. Albans, W.Va. where the two killers lived. At no time during any of the stops did Brandon Brogan or Mark Daniel Urban Jr. decide to turn around and go back to the accident. They drove straight through and arrived home at about noon according to Brogan's mother. They said they had been "hit by a chopper" and she thought they meant a helicopter. She saw the car. She didn't call the police.
Jay Jarman's family initiated a web site to seek help in finding Jay's killers. There were some witnesses but their stories were conflicting. The website was seen in Kanawha County West Virginia. Brogan and Urban saw it or were told about it and at that point, Brogan decided to own up to his mistake. He had been driving his friend's car that night as they were coming back from Murrell's Inlet and trying to locate their hotel. He and his mother chose to return to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, more out of fear than guilt. Urban came with them. That was May 22, 2003. Jay had been buried by then.
Jay Jarman's killers were served with indictments for leaving the scene of an accident with a fatality . They were released back to W. Va. to await trial. One of them attended his High School dance. One of them continued to drive the damaged car around his hometown like a trophy. It carried on it the crushed door and broken glass where Jay's motorcycle had impacted. They decided to enter a guilty plea on the first day of trial. As Jay's sister Kim, Mom Brenda, Dad James, Aunt Carolyn, Sharon, Carmen (not me), and a dozen or so other friends and relatives gathered in the Horry County court room, the two men stepped forward to make their final statements. Both admitted guilt. Both said they were sorry. Neither of them faced the family they had destroyed, choosing to stare straight ahead during the trial. One of them admitted he had an illegal substance in his system but was aware of his decisions and wished to proceed. The judge listened to each of Jay's family members and his pastor as they offered words to describe the man who could not speak for himself. And a sentence was issued.
Jay Jarman's killers would be given the maximum sentence that was possible, 10 years in jail. Then, the sentence was suspended. The judge had listened to Jay's family describe him as someone who would help another person in need and who was fair and understanding. Brogan and Urban were placed on 5 years probation with conditions of maintaining full time employment or community service, drug testing and/or counseling, continuing education and regular probation appointments. For now, they would serve no time behind bars. For now.
Jay Jarman's killers now have to prove they are worthy to be in human society. They must comply with their probation every day for the next 5 years or be sent to jail to fulfill their 10 year mandatory sentence. One of them has already proved that he cannot go the time it takes to go to trial without using marijuana. He has already been in another car wreck. He has no job. On February 5, 2004 he may have walked away from prison but he has not walked away from his crime. Both men will be watched--- closely. When they step out of line and break probation (and we know they will) the biker community will be back in court to see that Jay's justice is finally served.